On Thursday morning we said good-bye to Roundstone and the Twelve Bens and began our journey south. I hated to leave this beautiful part of Ireland. I cannot explain the pull of the wild bog country, the rocks and mountains and water, but it was very like the way Cornwall grabbed me last year. Such beauty!
We saw many of these currachs in use and many like this one, filled with flowers. Once covered with sealskin or other animal skin as waterproofing, today canvas and tar are the usual covering. The boats are quite small, and it chills my bones to think of going out into the ocean in one.
Quaint towns are the order of the day in Ireland, as are brightly painted buildings. I wish our American towns looked like this! Parking was interesting, though. As in England, people just parked, even if it blocked a lane. No one seemed to mind.
And Emo gas?? Actually, I think it was the name of the company, but pretty funny to an American who is used to the word signifying someone who reacts strongly emotionally.
And there is the Burren. See that rocky hill behind the cottage? The Burren is a type of landscape called karst; it splits, with deep fissures into which seeds might fall and plants sprout to live a difficult life. It is a wild place, strangely beautiful.
I snapped this picture as we passed ("Oh look, a ruined castle!")
In the austere landscape of the Burren, we were astounded to come upon a perfumery. It was miles from anywhere. down a very narrow road through rocks and scrubby growth. But when we got there, it was a charming place, and even had a tearoom. We weren't hungry so didn't go in.
In the perfumery itself. All the products are handmade here,and although my allergies went on high alert at the strong scents, It was fascinating. I came away with a jar of lavender and lemon day face cream, and I am telling you, it's wonderful. I will mail order more when it runs out, it's that nice.
The clerk in the photo was kind enough to give us directions to two places we wanted to see: Father Ted's house, and a portal tomb. If you don't know Father Ted you've missed one of the very best Irish comedy series offered by the BBC. I learned about the series last time I was in Ireland and ordered it from Amazon, and we've watched it several times over.
So this is the road to Father Ted's,or to the house used in filming anyway. It was a long way back in the hills, with no directions of any kind except what the perfumery clerk gave us.
And then there it was, just like it looks in the TV show. It is a private residence today, and there is no sign to tell you its story. We stayed on the road to take photos. I heard that the family will make tea for visitors by appointment, but we didn't want to do that--we just wanted to see the house. The series supposedly takes place in the Aran Islands, so it was a surprise to find the house is actually in the Burren.
Behind the house are these large, amazing rocks.
I zoomed in for the above picture, but this is what it actually looks like from the road.
Another funny sign--X-PO on a small cottage. Does it mean they were once poor but aren't any more?
Next stop was the portal tomb, also with sketchy directions.
My photo of the rock field around the tomb came out oddly bright, considering there was a light mist falling.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.